Danny Elfman Biography

Danny Elfman photo

Born: May 29, 1953

DANNY ELFMAN

Date of Birth: May 29, 1953

Danny Elfman began his showbiz career in the early 1970's as a singer-songwriter for the band Oingo Boingo. It was all a fluke actually. His older brother Richard was making his directorial debut with the film Forbidden Zone and he needed a musical score.

He approached his younger brother who had spent most of his childhood at the local theatre and listening to music by composers Bernard Hermann and Franz Waxman.

Forbidden Zone became a cult favorite and Elfman's career was launched. Oingo Boingo continued to play together until 1978, when the band members decided to go their separate ways.

It wasn't until the early 80's that Elfman got his big break and began a lasting friendship with a young, first-time director named Tim Burton. Burton approached Elfman to score his film Pee Wee's Big Adventure and the two went on to work together on a number of Burton movies, including: Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Mars Attacks! (1996) and most recently Sleepy Hollow (1999).

While Elfman gained success, he also gained some harsh critics.

He was dismissed by his fellow film score composers because he lacked any formal training. In fact, for years the rumor was that Elfman did not actually score his own films.

Despite the rumors, he was able to build an impressive list of credits and received two Oscar nominations for Best Original Dramatic Score, for Good Will Hunting (1997) and Best Musical or Comedy Score for Men In Black (1997).

In addition to scoring three to four films a year, Elfman is planning to make his directorial debut with a script that he wrote entitled Little Demons.

Elfman has two daughters from a previous marriage.

Filmography: (as composer)

Spider-Man(2001)
The Visitor(2001)
The Family Man(2000)
Proof of Life(2000)
Sleep Hollow (1999)
Anywhere But Here(1999)
Instinct(1999)
My Favorite Martian (1999)
Dilbert (1999)
A Simple Plan(1999)
A Civil Action(1998)
Psycho (1998)
Good Will Hunting(1997)
Men In Black(1997)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Extreme Measures (1996)
The Frighteners(1996)
Mission: Impossible(1996)
Freeway (1996)
Dead Presidents (1995)
To Die For (1995)
Dolores Clairborne (1994)
Black Beauty(1994)
Shrunken Heads(1994)
Army of Darkness(1993)
Sommersby (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas(1993)
Batman Returns(1992)
Pure Luck (1991)
Article 99 (1991)
Nightbreed (1990)
Edward Scissorhands(1990)
Dick Tracy(1990)
Darkman (1990)
Batman(1989)
Beetlejuice(1988)
Hot to Trot (1988)
Big Top Pee Wee (1988)
Midnight Run(1988)
Scrooged(1988)
Wisdom (1986)
Back to School (1986)
Weird Science(1985)
Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Forbidden Zone (1980)

Filmography: (as actor)

The Gift(2000)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (voice)
Back to School (1986)
Urgh! A Music War (1981)
Forbidden Zone (1980)
Hot Tomorrows (1977)

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